Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability If I Suffer from Depression?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Thousands of Americans suffer from various forms of depression. It is a mood disorder most prominently recognized by feelings of intense sadness, hopelessness, and low self-worth. Depression can often cause reduced energy levels and loss of interest in what used to be enjoyable, referred to as “anhedonia.” In certain cases, depression can be disabling to the point where the person suffering from it has difficulty retaining steady employment.

Cases of major clinical depression can render a person unable to effectively manage the stresses of everyday life, including those associated with working. These extreme cases of depression mean a person will exhibit symptoms for two weeks or more at a time. Because of the interference depression can have on a person’s everyday life and the fact that it can sometimes prevent an individual from keeping gainful employment, you are probably wondering whether depression will qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Depression

Depression is one of the most commonly claimed disabilities of individuals filing for Social Security disability benefits. Not all who suffer from depression, however, will qualify for these benefits. Social Security must consider whether the depression a claimant is experiencing is disabling. This can depend on many different factors. Your case will be evaluated based on factors such as:

  • The range of severity of your symptoms
  • Available treatment options and their effectiveness
  • Your supporting medical evidence
  • You age
  • Your education level
  • Your work history
  • Any other impairments from which you suffer

The Social Security Administration (SSA), who is tasked with administering the Social Security disability benefits program, will require solid supporting medical treatment records to substantiate approving your claim.

The SSA will look for various signs and symptoms when evaluating your depression. These include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in most activities
  • Disrupted appetite
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Slowed physical movements and reactions
  • Increase in physical agitation

Social Security Disability Attorney

If your depression is interfering with your ability to keep a job, reach out to the Disability Advocates Group. We will work with you to see if you can be approved for Social Security disability benefits. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.